Milwaukee, WI - Over 500 Milwaukee Teachers’ Education Association (MTEA) educators and their allies showed up at Thursday night’s Milwaukee Public Schools (MPS) School Board meeting in a tremendous show of solidarity and strength. MTEA members and their many supporters were completely silent in entering the meeting and sat holding signs making several demands:
- Economic justice for educational assistants
- Smaller class sizes for better learning
- Restoration of art, music, and physical education classes
- Fair contracts and fair learning conditions
The silent protest opened with the Overpass Light Brigade (OLB) marching a brilliant “UNIFIED FOR KIDS” message to the back of the room, where each holder of the light raised their letter above their head, while simultaneously a sea of educators flowed silently into the auditorium filling every single seat. Even though every last seat was filled, the entire adjoining hallway was still crammed with overflow crowd. Organizers did an excellent job of moving people in and out of the auditorium to ensure that everyone who showed up in support would receive a chance to sit. Groups of about thirty would get up silently and leave the auditorium as a new group of thirty would immediately fill the vacated seats.
The School Board Directors and MPS Superintendent Gregory Thornton had to be impressed with the massive showing of solidarity. The MTEA sent a clear message that educators are ready and willing to do whatever it takes to ensure they have the proper working conditions to be able to more effectively provide the proper learning conditions for Milwaukee’s children.
Check out all the action through this video: